Uncle Alec: Doctor and Rhetorical Trickster

Surprising skills lie between the covers of Louisa May Alcott's beloved "Little Women" series

Having read this book several times since the summer of tenth grade (when it was homework), there is very little I can actually still glean from the arguably over-worn pages. My biggest concern with this assignment is that chapter 20 (as opposed to the non-existent chapter 30 that I wrote down) is the right one to write on, as I cannot manage to access the slides outside of class.

Ironically enough, I am studying various fallacies and rhetorical skills in another class, and have been shown the clip of the video described at the end of chapter fifteen, which I had never seen before. This perhaps lent itself to making even the slightest bit of amusement come out of the pages that I could almost recite from memory (not really, but you get the idea).

Chapter fourteen held a little more interest for me, as it pulled out more of the rhetorical skills Louisa May Alcott’s characters use on each other. I was recently listening to “Eight Cousins” while I was knitting and find that Uncle Alec employs several of the tactics described there to get the six or seven aunts to agree to let him bring up Rose his own way. For instance, the aunts are deciding on a highly impractical winter outfit for her and he uses a false comparison to his own choice of outfit by considering them both equally useful for things such as running from wild dogs or dodging a rogue carriage. His looser, more practical outfit proves far more successful and cheerfully received by Rose herself.

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